Dempster’s Peel packs

Dempster's Peel packs visual punch The main reason I decided to make my home in the Yukon is the fantastic scenic beauty of the place. It's great to be accepted, even though you're nuts, and there are a lot of really super people here, but turn it into

BodyDempster’s Peel packs

visual punch

The main reason I decided to make my home in the Yukon is the fantastic scenic beauty of the place. It’s great to be accepted, even though you’re nuts, and there are a lot of really super people here, but turn it into rubble and I’ll be moving on, in tears.

You know how you go somewhere and all your preconceived notions are destroyed in a flash? Well, that’s what happened when I first visited the Dempster region, aka the Peel River drainage. I thought I would see vast stretches of tundra, pock-marked with lakes and the Tombstone Range sticking out of that like a huge sore thumb.

Boy, was I wrong. So very wrong!

I couldn’t stop stopping all the way from ground zero to the Peel itself. Every turn seemed to bring some new amazing sight. Impossibly jagged spires of the Tombstone Range, then gunmetal grey-blue granite mountains, then the startling black rock of the headwaters of the Blackstone.

Next for me, the highlight of the drive, a 40-kilometre-wide river valley, all treed and nary a road to be seen in it, anywhere. And as I travelled, there was more – a tea pail of blueberries in half an hour, hundreds or maybe thousands of caribou, the Eagle Plains Lodge (a pretty neat place) and so on and on.

And I thought that if I ever have to hide from Big Daddy Government this would be a real good place to do it.

I hope the latest reports have somehow got it wrong. I hope that this amazing gift of a place will not be pillaged without restraint by shareholder-owned developers, that my kids and their kids’ kids may be able to make this trip and be as amazed as I was someday, or better still, float the Wind and the Peel and see it the way it should be seen, from the seat of a canoe or kayak.

And I really sincerely hope that those we have entrusted with our future well-being are not as hell-bent eager to turn it all upside down as they lately seem to be.

Respectful question for you there, newly installed in those “halls of power:” Should we really do everything we can do?

We all know we cannot gently float above the Earth, simply enjoying the view and living on nothing but fresh mountain air, without extracting and consuming some of its resources from time to time, but still.

Doug Martens


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